Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Judgment Day

UPDATE: Late night post all the way at the bottom...

It's snowing in Calgary and it figures to be just as odd a day in Ottawa. The monumental/frivolous vote is scheduled for 6 o'clock (4 Mountain!!!!) tonight so I'll be updating this post from now until then as events develop over the course of the day.

Morning Buzz

Today's Globe & Mail likely wasn't bringing as many smiles to Liberals as last week's. It also contained this baffling threat:

The bailiff served Mr.Corbeil a legal letter from Irene Marchettere, Luc Desbiens
and Richard Mimeau, three of eight Liberal officials he identified yesterday as
having received cash for election work. The letter asked him to retract his
allegations within 24 hours.

I know Madame Marchettere's boss has a law degree so perhaps he should offer her some free legal advice. Namely, what is said at a public inquiry, no matter how ridiculous, is protected from libel suits.

QP Buzz

-Harper started off by asking questions on the budget and the fiscal imbalance rather than tonight's vote or the Corbeil allegations. All of this tells me that he realizes there's a very good chance the election will be fought over the Liberal budget. According to Don Newman, that vote is now expecting to come Thursday.

-Jack Layton comments that "Canadians are rightly disgusted by this parliament". Layton is really trying to take the high ground and I think it could really pay off. After the disgusting political gamesmanship between Martin and Harper yesterday in Europe and a week of senseless accusations, a lot of Canadians are likely looking for a leader who looks like a grown-up. And, as strange as it sounds, Jack Layton is looking like the most mature of the three quasi-federalist leaders right now.

-I don't watch a lot of Question Period but I have never before seen an opposition member answer a question before. Yet today, Conservative John Williams answered an NDP question about the Public Accounts Committee. Whaaaaaaaaa?

Buzz from the Broooooadcast

-Apparently, two Liberals are away from Ottawa today for the vote, making it a near certainty it will pass. It seems the Liberals are employing the "I wasn't really trying" strategy I always use when I lose at Monopoly.

-That said, it will still be interesting to watch the vote for one reason: David Kilgour's vote. While the Conservatives don't need it today, they may very well need it for a "real" confidence vote later on. This should finally tilt his hand as to how he's voting.

The Vote

153-150: Kilgour sheepishly votes with the government but two Ministers and Cadman are away from the house.

-I think it would have been wise of the opposition to bring some scrap paper and to throw it in the air after the vote for effect.

-Let the spin war begin!

The Spin War

-Good grief. Blogger shuts down right after the vote. They did the same thing right after the Brault testimony was released. I swear it’s a conspiracy.

-I think Harper played it right by rising after the vote and saying that if the government didn't consider this a matter of confidence they need to immediately get the confidence of the House. The motion brought forward was probably not a confidence motion but it was a huge sign that the government has lost the confidence of the House. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the Government to test the confidence of the House. People are making comparisons to Stanfield in '68 when a money bill was defeated and in that situation, the Liberals asked for (and received) the House's confidence the very next day.

-Given that, the Liberals need to get the budget voted on as soon as possible. Asking the House to wait three weeks is just not credible at this juncture. Testing the confidence of the House later this week with a Thursday budget vote would likely be a fair response.

-"From dithering to desperate to dangerous" Strong words from Stephen Harper.

-Ducceppe calls a House boycott "bad politics". Safe to say we won't see that, although I'm sure there will be some very loud protests by the Bloc and the Conservatives in the near future.

-It will be very interesting to see what the NDP has to say. There have been several NDP members who have said they regard this as a confidence vote.

-Gilles Ducceppe had a funny line regarding the NDPs support: "I've always said a successful NDPer is a Liberal". heh heh.

-I already mentioned it before but it bears repeating: David Kilgour voted with the Liberals. Do the math…


  • Pardon me for barging in here, but if you check Hansard you will see that Williams responded to the question because it was addressed to him. He is, after all, the chair of the committee.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • Man you are deluded.. or bought out several times over.

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 5:32 p.m.  

  • I haven't seen that before either. But Williams didn't seem suprised by the question, so perhaps it occurs more frequently then we think it does.

    By Blogger PR, at 5:36 p.m.  

  • Oh yeah, it was responded to him, but I wasn't even aware that a question could be directed towards an opposition member. Maybe it's allowed for committee chairs...

    But I wonder why the backbench Libs don't throw their 1 or 2 freebie questions at opposition members if it's allowed...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:33 p.m.  

  • The Liberals are apparently confident they are in the right on the question of this motion.. else they'd have been hustling the 2 Cabinet ministers back to Ottawa (or perhaps they figured since Cadman wasnt going to make the vote anyhow.. what was the point?)

    But anyhow.. they're showing the public that by leaving their Cabinet ministers to do whatever it was they were doing and they didnt try flying them back to Ottawa ASAP for the vote... the are showing confidence that they feel they are in the right on this.

    Add Valeri's offer for 3 non-confidence days at the end of the month.. and I think this is going to blow over rather quickly.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:49 p.m.  

  • I believe that in question period questions can be directed to Ministers of the Crown or Chairs of committees. As Chairs are almost always with the governing party, it's only a little odd when a backbencher rises to answer a question. However, when the Opposition has its Members serving as Chair, then they're fair game! Wonder when the Tories will start questioning Opposition Chairs to get friendlier responses on things?

    By Anonymous Joe Haché (Jr.), at 6:57 p.m.  

  • Strange, there's nothing in the standing orders that refers to the questioning of Chairs...I know it can happen in the Senate, but I didn't think it could in the House.

    As for tonights vote, I think the fact that the NDP and Libs control the majority of votes on public accounts could make for an interesting take on the direction from the house.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:23 p.m.  

  • Yeah we won! the start of the end for the liberals!!!


    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 10:25 p.m.  

  • Budget vote this week. This will be the campaign issue. The question: will the 905 vote for Martin because Harper was too ruthless in trying to force an election at all costs, or for Harper because the Liberal brand bled to death from a thousand cuts?

    By Blogger matt, at 1:46 a.m.  

  • The budget vote is next week, not this week. I think the vote really ought to have been this week, but I can only fulminate so much over a week's delay.

    By Anonymous Kevin Brennan, at 1:20 p.m.  

  • The Tories used the NDP tactic in QP today by addressing their first two questions to John Williams.

    It looks like the current Parliament, if nothing else, is ensuring that every single obscure rule of Parliamentary procedure is getting looked at.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:29 p.m.  

  • >the start of the end for the liberals!!!

    Hehe, in order for that to have been the case, you'd have had to do it without the overwhelming support of a *leftist quebec separatist party*.

    Perhaps you guys ought to get that straightened out.

    By Blogger Sigma-6, at 12:13 a.m.  

  • Wow, there is a lot of helpful data above!

    By Anonymous maxidus sex shop, at 3:21 a.m.  

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